Recently in Cross Training Category

Getting in Shape

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This just in: training pays off!

Geez, whadd'ya know. You put time and effort in, and you get results!

I took one rest day after my 14-miler last Sunday. I was back out for a 3.1 mile run on Tuesday morning with Barb. That's unusual for me - I generally end up taking off more than one day after a long run, 'cause I push too hard and then take too long to recover (that or I'm just lazy...). I followed that up with 3.6 on Wednesday at lunch (literallly ran home to pick up some electrolyte packets; I love that I live so close to work). Thursday afternoon was a perfect day to have off - I headed to Sabino Canyon for a glorious (albeit wet, from the multiple creek crossings) 7.5 mile hilly run, which I then followed up with a kick-ass spinning class. That was a first for me: run-immediately-followed-by-cycling workout. That was pretty cool. The best part? I totally fueled correctly and was able to power through the entire 2.5 hours of working out with ease. And the next day, I was hardly sore! Amazing.

This morning, I headed to the gym. The spinning class was full by the time I arrived, so I headed upstairs to the elliptical machines (two of the three stair climbers - what I wanted to do - were broken and the other one was in contant use). 30 minutes of elliptical followed by 15 minutes of recumbant cycling was plenty for me. My hamstring was cramping and I was tired (I didn't have my morning coffee!). I headed to the weights and lifted a bit before leaving. Ash and I hit up the very cool "coffee bus" on the way home (it's a double-decker bus converted to a coffee shop; the seating is upstairs!), and now we're hanging out while I finish laundry and dishes and cleaning the house. Games and football are on tap for the afternoon, along with a possible trip to the park. Tomorrow is more general hanging out, then after he goes his dad's, I'll head out for my last three to four miles for the week.

It's been a good, solid week. I can feel my training starting to pay off, my body starting to get in shape and be able to handle what I'm throwing at it. This bodes well for the next three months while I prep for ZG. Yay!

(Now if only I could stop eating everything in sight...)

Near Wild Heaven

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Cliffs in the canyon

I am thankful for an amazing Thanksgiving weekend.

Angie's ready for the race

I ran the Thanksgiving Day Race at the park, hopping over hay bales and jumping over water (or through water, at least on the second lap). Chris took photos on the first lap, then left to go play soccer. I went out too fast and ended up walking on the second lap, finishing in 35 minutes on the dot. Not my best, but not my worst, either. Plus it was fun.

My shoulder as I hop over hay bales

I joined the soccer game after that (my first ever soccer game!), and ran around for about 45 more minutes, before heading home to clean up.

Dinner on Thursday with Chris's parents was cancelled at the last minute, leaving Chris and I scrambling to create our own dinner at 2 pm. We went to the store, and cobbled together a hodge-podge of Thanksgiving foods. It was an adventure! Considering the circumstances - it could have been a lot worse - it ended up being a lot of fun and quite a bonding experience. Plus, I beat him at Scrabble, so it was a VERY good day :)

Thanksgiving Dinner

Friday, we slept in and decided to skip a run and a hike, and hit up the gym instead. We perused the weight machines and I learned how to use a few that will help my running muscles, before I headed to the elliptical machine. We followed that up with a trip to our favorite sushi restaurant (I don't eat sushi, but LOVE Japanese food) and then hit up Target, which wasn't too bad, considering it was "black Friday".

Saturday brought a trip to IKEA in Phoenix on the way to my parent's house. I'd never been; it was a blast! I found mini table easels - perfect for displaying my art - totally cheap! And dinner with my family was a total (loud, fun, dancing-to-surfing-christmas-music-while-doing-the-dishes) blast.

Phoneline Trail

Sunday morning...mmm...Sunday morning brought my nine-mile Phoneline Loop. I wasn't able to do this two weeks ago because I was sick, and I've been dying to get back out on this trail now that it's open! Plus, my Christmas gift arrived on Friday and I couldn't wait to use it:

My new toy!

The first part of the run was getting warmed up and I climbed up up up. At the right moment, just as the trail leveled off and began it's undulating portion, Queens of the Stone Age came on my iPod. It was perfect. I bounced, bopped and hopped my way over rocks as I danced down the trail. Then REM's "Near Wild Heaven" came on, and I just smiled smiled smiled my way across the trail. Better yet, just .10 of a mile from where I hit the road for an awesome downhill, Outkast's "Hey Ya!" came on, and I started FLYING down the rest of the trail and then down down down a beautiful hill on the road. I kept a 7:12/mile pace for .75 mile!!!! It was aMAZing!!! The rest of the run was recovery from that :)

I'm ready to run!

After a nap on Sunday and a great Eagles/Patriots game, I crashed. It felt good to just relax and rest that day.

Yesterday I wore my three-inch-high boots to work. Yeah, not the best idea after running nine miles the day before! :) The best part of yesterday was the rescheduled turkey dinner with Chris's folks. It was delicious and a great carb-loading dinner for this morning's 5-miler.

It was freakin' COLD this morning! I had to dig out my tights, mittens and skull cap. Barb and I headed out around the neighborhood; it was a good run. Slow, but just what I needed for my sore muscles.

Unfortunately, I think I'm getting sick again. My head is stuffy, my ears and sinuses hurt and sudafed's not doing much :( Hopefully it's just allergies or a light cold, and will pass quickly. I'm glad I still got up this morning and ran, even though I had numerous excuses not to (if you're sick, it's better to rest, running - especially in the cold - may dampen your immune system). The rest of the week will be hard to squeeze runs in, but I'm sure I'll be able to.

I'm excited about the upcoming holiday season. Lots of parties, Ash's birthday, a vacation, plus Christmas: should be fun!

Recent Runs

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Last Saturday, I had a beautiful 5.9 mile run. (It was supposed to be 5.5 as a memorium for Ryan Shay, but I added a little extra just to make sure I was getting the amount I wanted.) I slept in, then headed out at 8:50, knowing I needed to make sure to keep my pace steady in order to make it back by 10, when Ash was coming over. The sky was bright blue, the air was balmy and I was feeling good. The relentless forward motion was exactly what I needed in order to release the frustration and stress of the previous week. Usually, it takes a good hour to an hour-and-a-half to get really warmed up and for the endorphins to flow (the runner’s “O”), but this day it only took me about 45 minutes. It was gorgeous. After running around the park a bit, I took off for the U, where I wound my way around high school kids in uniform preparing for Band Day (was I really that young in high school? I felt sooooo grown-up back then). I made it back home at 10 on the nose. It was perfect. The rest of the day was wonderful as well, with Ash and Chris and I playing games on the living room floor for hours (Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Battleship, Sequence for Kids).

Sunday, I headed to the gym for a little recumbent bike exercise and wow, did that hurt. Made me realize that it wasn’t yoga last time that made my hamstrings hurt so bad – it was the bike! I was grumpy and didn’t last longer than 30 minutes.

I rested Monday and declined Paki’s offer to run that night, since I had planned to run Tuesday morning. But my morning running partner cancelled, and I don’t like to run along in the dark, which meant I had to figure out how to get my 3 miles in for the day. A field visit along a potential linear park gave me about 1.5 miles during the work day, and I headed back to the gym for about 20 minutes on the elliptical to round out the day. Today I’m resting again, before my big Thanksgiving/running weekend – Thanksgiving day itself is the race that includes jumping over hay bales and running through water puddles (I did last year as part of a team), possibly a soccer kick-around (maybe? I’d like to learn how to play…), dinner at Chris’s family’s house with the possibility of a short hike after dinner. Friday will either be a hike with Chris or a run (and working on the first of a friend’s two-part custom art order); Saturday is resting as Chris and I visit my family for their Thanksgiving day celebration; and Sunday brings 9 miles. Yay! I’m looking forward to this weekend.

Awhile back (eleven days ago!), I was tagged by Karin, a blogger I had not yet discovered. The rules:
• Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
• Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
• Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
• Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I used to weigh 215 pounds (at nine months pregnant (my top weight ever), I weighed 235 pounds). When I was in high school, the lowest weight I achieved (via starving myself), was 118. I gained the weight of an entire (small) adult in about seven years.
2. I lost 70 pounds because of gallbladder disease (unable to eat saturated or trans fats), and got down to 128 right before my second ultra. Now that my gallbladder is gone, I’ve gained 24 pounds back. The first 10 pounds I was grateful to gain back – I didn’t like how bony I got at 128. I liked the softness and curves those 10 pounds brought. But now, I’m scared I’m going to gain another 50 pounds, and go right back up to where I was before, which is why I’m desperate to train for ZG this winter – to make sure I stay healthy. I REFUSE to be unhealthy again. (Tell that to my brain when I start stress-eating, wouldja please?!)
3. I am a high-school dropout. A few years later, I took the test to get my GED and scored in the top 1%, garnering myself a scholarship to the local community college, where I took one class, Western Civ 101, during the fall semester of 2001. Let me tell you, having history happen during the class (9/11) made for an interesting look back on how we got to where we are today.
4. I lucked into my career – I started at my firm as a temporary receptionist four years ago. Soon I became a permanent receptionist, then I was promoted to support staff in the department I’m in now. For the last year, I’ve been a project manager. Next up: department manager (my current department manager is aware of my ambitions and has promised to do everything in his power to help me learn and grow). I love my job.
5. I got married at age 17 and stayed married for 11 years, 4 days. This is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own, and so far, it’s been good.

Tag, you’re it: Troy, Olga, Renee, Neese and Michelle.

So Donald's response to my last post was, "A man who "cranks up Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears"? And you have no other comments on this? That's totally funny."

So I e-mailed him back the whole story...

He was of middle eastern descent, dark-skinned, athletic, with long black curly hair tied loosely into a ponytail at his neck. A prominent nose stood out from his face, but his eyes were most arresting, deep-set jewels glistening in the early morning gym light. I lost myself in those dark eyes as he walked into the room. I stopped midstride, and the force of the elliptical trainer thrust me forward with an awkward jerk. I hit my nose on the display, but managed to stay upright. I hurriedly moved the pedals forward, as though nothing had happened, and my heart started fluttering as he mounted the machine next to me. His muscles rippled under his shirt in a most appealing way, and I admired his strong quads as he began pumping his legs forward. My favorite kind of eye candy to keep me company on this early stormy morning.

Then he turned on his iPod.

Donald's response? "THAT'S what I'm talking about!"

Thus, you get the whole story too.
___
Ash stayed up all night last night, so I skipped my planned early morning run. I decided to hit up the gym tonight, and it's a good thing I did, after the nutritious food I ate today: a scone for breakfast, pizza for lunch and a death by chocolate cookie for a snack (note dripping sarcasm).

I walked out of the house to drive to the gym, and it was so beautiful, I decided to stop at the River Path to go for a run! I was in my strength training gear (i.e. all cotton) and "dead" shoes, with no handheld water bottle or pack to hold anything, but I just had to run. It felt great to let loose, and watch the clouds dance over the mountains. About a third of the way in I caught sight of a woman in front of me, and decided she'd be my rabbit. I chased her down for the middle third, and when I finally caught up to her and started to pass her, I looked over to say "hey" only to realized it was Lisa! She and Kiera and I are planning a run this weekend (hopefully we won't get lost), and we were both out for spur of the moment runs.

I finished up, knowing I had pushed my speed. That felt great. Then it was off to the gym for 30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes strength training, 30 minutes stretching, and a few minutes in the hot tub and pool. Nice relaxing evening.

Got home and plugged in my numbers - lo and behold, my pace tonight was 10:26/mile! Woo hoo!!!

Eye Candy...The Whole Story

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So Donald's response to my last post was, "A man who "cranks up Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears"? And you have no other comments on this? That's totally funny."

So I e-mailed him back the whole story...

He was of middle eastern descent, dark-skinned, athletic, with long black curly hair tied loosely into a ponytail at his neck. A prominent nose stood out from his face, but his eyes were most arresting, deep-set jewels glistening in the early morning gym light. I lost myself in those dark eyes as he walked into the room. I stopped midstride, and the force of the elliptical trainer thrust me forward with an awkward jerk. I hit my nose on the display, but managed to stay upright. I hurriedly moved the pedals forward, as though nothing had happened, and my heart started fluttering as he mounted the machine next to me. His muscles rippled under his shirt in a most appealing way, and I admired his strong quads as he began pumping his legs forward. My favorite kind of eye candy to keep me company on this early stormy morning.

Then he turned on his iPod.

Donald's response? "THAT'S what I'm talking about!"

Thus, you get the whole story too.
___
Ash stayed up all night last night, so I skipped my planned early morning run. I decided to hit up the gym tonight, and it's a good thing I did, after the nutritious food I ate today: a scone for breakfast, pizza for lunch and a death by chocolate cookie for a snack (note dripping sarcasm).

I walked out of the house to drive to the gym, and it was so beautiful, I decided to stop at the River Path to go for a run! I was in my strength training gear (i.e. all cotton) and "dead" shoes, with no handheld water bottle or pack to hold anything, but I just had to run. It felt great to let loose, and watch the clouds dance over the mountains. About a third of the way in I caught sight of a woman in front of me, and decided she'd be my rabbit. I chased her down for the middle third, and when I finally caught up to her and started to pass her, I looked over to say "hey" only to realized it was Lisa! She and Kiera and I are planning a run this weekend (hopefully we won't get lost), and we were both out for spur of the moment runs.

I finished up, knowing I had pushed my speed. That felt great. Then it was off to the gym for 30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes strength training, 30 minutes stretching, and a few minutes in the hot tub and pool. Nice relaxing evening.

Got home and plugged in my numbers - lo and behold, my pace tonight was 10:26/mile! Woo hoo!!!

Cross Training

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After my surgery, I have ramped up my mileage somewhat quickly. I went from 0 to 11 to 18 in two weeks. No wonder my knees are a little sore. I have six months till OP50, giving me plenty of time to train. I decided that I would take this first month to build up my aerobic base. Run around 15 miles a week, and spend the rest of my time cross-training. I think this will help me get stronger while taking it easier on my joints. I also think I'll be taking a close look at my nutritional strategies.

Yesterday morning, Paki and I were scheduled to go out. This time, I called her at 5 a.m.
me: It's raining. Is it raining at your place?
paki: yes
me: it's thundering. are you getting lightning?
paki: yeah
me: what if the lightning hit one of the electrical poles at the river?
paki: yeah, I was going to wait to see if it goes away
me: I don't want to get hit by lightning
paki: yeah, we probably shouldn't go
me: no, I think I'll go to the gym instead
paki: darnit, I really wanted to go today.
me: I know!
paki: oh well.

So I stumble through the dark house, trying to find my strength training gear (separate from the running gear I set out the night before), and manage to get out of the house and on my way by 5:25. As I drive over, I notice that it hasn't thundered in at least 20 minutes, and the rain has settled to a drizzle. I second-guess my decision the entire 5-minute drive over, agonizing that I made the wrong choice. Finally, I decide to live with the choice I made, reminding myself of my new goals: not miles, but base.

The gym is surprisingly full 5:30 a.m. I want to get on one of the stationary bikes, but they look like they are off. I'm not sure how to work it (I'm still a newbie), so I get on an elliptical machine instead. Since the goal is to get my heart rate up, I actually peruse the various workouts and choose one that looks hard in a good way. As I spin my legs round and round, I pay close attention to the people getting on the bikes in front of me, the bikes I thought were off. Aha! All you have to do is pedal a little, and the displays will light up. I file that away for future reference. A man hops on the elliptical next to me, without signing in on the board, and cranks up Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears in his iPod. I bounce along, first moving my legs forward, then moving them backwards as directed by the programmed workout. I'm happy to see my HR moving up. I don't have a HR monitor at home, so to be able to get a feel for my heart rate while working out is pretty cool. I'm suprised at my body's response to a HR in the 150s - I can feel my heart pounding, my head pounding and I'm breathing surprisingly hard. I thought my HR would be higher for that sort of physiological response.

I hop off my machine as a woman is getting upset that the man next to me didn't sign in. She wants a particular machine, and according to the sign in board, two should be available. She hops on mine as I wander over to the weights. I am feeling good. I am ready to up it to three sets per exercise. I am serious, focused. So focused, I fail to realize until half-way through my exercises that I am doing the wrong day's exercises. Oops! Oh well. I keep going. I am delighted as I do reverse crunches to feel that I'm starting to be able to lift my butt off the mat. I'm also excited to feel that I can keep my balance doing squats. I finish up and head out to stretch.

My gym has a nice balcony area overlooking the basketball courts, with mats and other assorted floor equipment. I snag a mat and start my ITB stretching. Ahhh, it feels so good. I work through all my leg stretches, and then head back out. What a great workout.

I spend the rest of the (stressful) day satisfied. I can feel the burn in my muscles throughout the day. I feel strong, confident and solid. By the end of the day, my muscles are sore, but in such a pleasant way.

This morning, I decided to sleep instead of run or go back to the gym to bike. Rest is an important part of training programs; I am taking this to heart!

Woo hoo! What a blast. We went on a spur-of-the-moment skiing trip to Arizona Snowbowl, in northern Arizona. Turns out Johnny was right: the ski area's last day of operation for the season was today. We got up there just in time!

Ash has been skiing before - sort of. When he was one, Johnny finagled him into ski boots and helped him slide down the hill behind our house. Last season, when Ash was two, we went to Snowbowl, and once again Johnny helped him ski a little. But this was the first real time Ash has been skiing. He spent most of the time crying and whimpering, yet laughing at the same time. On our last run together as a family, Ash started sliding about 10 feet at a time, from Johnny to me, then back to Johnny - and he loved it. It was stressful for me, though, because Ash spent most of the time seemingly upset, and I had to spend most of my time stopped on the slope in a wedge - and that really hurt my knees. So it was tough, but ultimately fun.

Then Johnny took Ash back down to our hotel in Flagstaff, where Johnny's mom was waiting (she came along on the trip). Ash and Nana hung out for the afternoon, while Johnny and I skiied our hearts out. While waiting for Johnny, I got in a few runs. It was so warm and sunny, great spring conditions. The snow was perfect. I found that it was actually harder to ski weighing 65 pounds less than the last time I went - the shaped skis did not bounce around as easily. I am really really sore! I was a little worried about my healing hip (from last week's fall), but I didn't fall on the slopes, and my hip is healing well. So that's good.

We all headed down to the outdoor hot tub after, which felt so good on my aching body. Then we had a great dinner at Chili's - and I sure enjoyed the Presidente Margarita!!! Once we got back to the hotel, I totally crashed - I fell asleep on the bed with the lights and TV on, and everyone awake and talking!

This morning, we headed to Late for the Train, our favorite coffee shop and then to Thorpe Park before heading home. It sure does feel good to back in Tucson. "Super Ash" decides to help feed Beautiful, our hungry cat.

So it's been an entire week without running - too long! I need to get back out there. I bailed on Kiera this weekend to go skiing (Johnny missed freshly baked scones!), so I owe her one. The sun is setting later, which gives me more time in the evening. I want to get back into a fitness state of mind; I feel lazy and un-fit. I don't like feeling that way. But right now I am too exhausted to think about it :)


Here are the rest of our vacation pictures!

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angie's essence...as explored by trail running (and mixed-media art)

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Cross Training category.

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